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Cowboys free agency 2023: Leighton Vander Esch re-signs for 2-year, $11 million

Dallas continues to make moves that will bolster their defense in 2023.

NFL: DEC 11 Texans at Cowboys Photo by John Rivera/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

For the Dallas Cowboys, when the hits come, they keep on coming. In a good way. After re-signing Donovan Wilson to an extension and trading for Stephon Gilmore, the Cowboys are retaining their middle linebacker, Leighton Vander Esch. Ian Rapoport reports.

Going into free agency, Dallas had key pieces from their 2022 defense that were going to need new contracts. The Cowboys made it a priority to keep the continuity with Dan Quinn returning as defensive coordinator.

Vander Esch coming back not only helps the defense but continues to be a mentor to Damone Clark. The second-year linebacker should be in line for a larger role on defense and would lean on LVE to continue his growth at the position.

The front office might not be done just yet as there are reports of negotiating a deal with defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. For now, it’s a great start to what many were expecting to be a dull start to free agency for the Cowboys.

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